Our exclusive interview with Vichy’s Thando Hopa

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


You may recognise her face from Gert-Johan Coetzee runway shows, but this part-time model is actually a legal prosecutor. Born in Soweto with complete absence of pigment in her skin (also known as albinism), Thando has been chosen as the face for the Vichy Capital Soleil range. We got to chat to her about life, beauty loves and runways.

How does it feel to be chosen as the face of Vichy Capital Soleil?
Vichy is a reputable brand, one that I’m honoured to be aligned with.

What are your responsibilities as their ambassadress?
For me it is a relationship that enables me to educate the public about the importance of sunscreen, alongside a brand that has the same objectives. My personal experience of the products makes it easy for me to endorse Vichy Capital Soleil as a range that I genuinely trust to deliver the high-level sun care that I need.

How do you balance working as a prosecutor and being the face of Capital Soleil?
It is not easy I must say, but I am fortunate to be collaborating with a brand that has continuously accommodated my other life. It requires planning, but I am able to juggle two professional lives.

Are you at higher risk of developing skin cancer due to albinism?
Indeed so, pigmentation provides protection to one’s skin so without it you are more vulnerable to skin cancer. That is why sun care is so important to me.

What is your sun-care routine?
I stay out of the sun at all costs, and sunscreen is a necessity, not a luxury, for me. I use a Chinese parasol whenever I am outside, and apply sunscreen every two hours whenever I’m exposed to sun. If I don’t, I burn badly, and it takes my skin ages to recover so the damage is more immediately obvious than it is for other people, although the sun has that effect on everyone. Even when I’m not in direct sun ie. when I’m in the car, I make sure to apply sunscreen every two hours unless I’m indoors.

Can you share your favourite summer products with us?
Vichy Eau Thermale Spa and SPF 50 Vichy Capital Soleil sunscreen, one for my face and the other for my body. And of course my ever-present parasol!

What is your go-to scent?
Giorgio Armani Si.

If you could only choose one Vichy Capital Soleil product, which one would it be?
Don’t make me choose, I need them all! I have a special fondness for the Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Body Sunscreen SPF 50 because it is so gentle on my skin.

Besides modelling for Gert-Johan Coetzee, have you done any other modelling for any other designers?
I’m never overly excited about ramp modeling to be honest. I did a show for Shweta Wahi though, which was a novel experience as she insisted I walk barefoot on the ramp…That was quite refreshing!

Other articles you may be interested in:
Our favourite facial sunscreens
Nine sunscreens worth spending your bonus on
SA’s sunscreen situation
The importance of SPF in winter
The facts about SPF

Written by

Zoe has a bachelor’s degree in motion picture medium. She loves all things beauty and fashion. When she is not writing articles for the latest issue of Clicks Club Card magazine or BeautySouthAfrica.com, she is obsessed with gel nails, lengthening mascaras and healthy glowing skin! Zoe on Google+

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  1. Hess

    Beautiful girl, definitely makes a good case for taking care of your skin.

    5 years ago •

  1. Busisiwe Ndzube

    Wow, she looks beautiful!

    5 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    What an interesting article! Kudos to this lady for being able to have two professional lives and succeed at it.

    5 years ago •

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